Birding round Durham & Sunderland 2012

Birdwatching in & around Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, County Durham.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Turn Left well before the Sheep guts

An afternoon visit to Ryhope & Hendon areas in calm, sunny conditions.

Found a nice migrant trap behind the Forge garage ( accessed from other side nr tunnel )which held grounded migrants including Fieldfare, Redwing, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff & masses of Blackbirds.

Not such a pleasant sight on the seaward side of the Tunnel..... with a Sheeps guts draped over a boulder, with its severed head laid close by....
presumably the rest has made its way to the Kebab shop ?
 A variety of finches, a passing Swallow, several Goldcrests & Chiffchaffs alongwith a single fly-over Lapland Bunting, then it was time to move further up the coast.

First time ive birded "The Raileys" - a superb area of natural re-gen on this former industrial area & i only had 90mins to find my way around -

steady as she goes, as one short cut through the scrub lead me to a 25' vertical drop into one of the many railway cuttings. (adorned with artwork, some of it very nicely done )
I liked this one, reminiscent of some of the characters Finn & Jake come by in Adventure Time.
An area of semi-mature Scots Pine was yelling "Asio otus" & i made my way round just in time to see an asio flying away from a local daily dog-walker "fust time ive seen an owl here" - a spot of luck on my first visit !
I didnt anymore than a split second view, but thought Short, & that turned out to be the case :-

Mean looking thing - harrassed by Magpies
My first decent look at a perched one this autumn
- a bit video clip on the OWL BLOG - Longs & Shorts

Finding my way around i came across several each of Goldcrest, Chiffchaff & Redwings, singles of Coal Tit, Blackcap & Grey Wagtail.  A Blackbird nearly took my head off, as did the sparrowhawk hurtling along in pursuit of it !
Closer to the dock basin, beside a flagstone/paviours yard,  i had good but brief views of a nice bright Yellow-browed Warbler as it passed between copses tagging along swiftly with Blue Tits.
Well impressed with this spot, but headed off before the light faded as i dont think its the safest place to leave your vehicle !

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